Indra writes about participating in the retreat held in Italy, saying it is the ultimate invitation to dive deep and grow.
The ultimate invitation to dive deep and grow!
This was an invitation that was impossible to ignore… but the moment Path of Love (POL) came into my life there was no way I could envision the extent to which it would transform and heal my life. Looking back, it was like a dream in which everything happened at one and the same moment: no time, no hesitation, no thoughts – only the present moment. Read on for some personal experiences of POL that I share with love, joy and immense gratitude.
One day as I’m reading a newsletter (Osho News?), an item about POL catches my attention. My heart jumps. Less than a day later a good friend tells me that he’s recently experienced something remarkable that could be extremely valuable to me. And of course, he’s talking about POL! “Amazing,” I exclaim, “I was reading about this just yesterday!” This synchronicity feels like a strong confirmation of the action I need to take. My Mind has no idea what to expect, yet without any hesitation I start filling in the form to indicate my wish to participate. There are many, precise questions that I carry with me during the day and gradually the answers present themselves. While completing the form, I hear my Ego getting obstreperous: “Why are you doing this, Indra? You’ve done so much already!” I am aware of the Ego’s fear of dying… and continue answering the questions. In answer to the question about why I want to take part in POL I write: “I’ve no idea, but I trust my heart and my heart knows the answer. It is my deepest desire to always be able to live Loveflowing in all its facets, glory and dimensions!” Just a few hours after completing and submitting the form I receive an email to set up a Skype interview with one of the retreat leaders, Sambhavo. Later, during the interview, I am struck by his integrity and love. Together we look at whether POL is a suitable retreat for me and whether this is the right moment. Only later do I sincerely understand and appreciate the true value and necessity of this introductory interview.
Shortly after this interview I get a confirmation email: “Indra, you’re in.” My whole body starts trembling with excitement! Here I am, on the eve of a new adventure that will bring me in deeper touch with my shadow parts. My heart celebrates as it feels the confirmation that this is the right path to follow in order to awaken in my truth and my unconditional love.
Ego starts acting up
It’s the very first evening, we’ve only just arrived and it’s already been made abundantly clear that the structure and content of POL are totally confidential. There is no opportunity for the Mind to get involved with working out what the next module of the retreat is and what it involves. We also get to hear that at the end of the week we’ll have fallen in love with ourselves and with every other participant – if we are willing to fully participate without hesitation in all aspects of the programme. My ‘little me’ still has no idea what is expected of me, which leaves me feeling pretty insecure.
Despite many years in the world of personal growth and transformation (both as participant and facilitator) I feel a lump in my throat when I hear the incisive questions. I hear my Ego stirring and reacting: “It won’t be that bad, they’ll not be able to ignore me!” But the pressure mounts. I feel my Ego shrinking under the impact of the penetrating eye contact and how my heart beats in my throat. At the same time, I’m aware of how my heart still cries ‘YES!’ – because this is the way to truly come home in my true self.
After a short night, the Dynamic Meditation and an abundant breakfast the whole group comes together for the first day. The three leaders – Praful, Sambhavo and Rupda – take turns to explain emphatically that personal attention and support will be given during the whole process and that they are constantly available to encourage and guide us. Moreover, a strong team of facilitators and assistants is present, all of whom have experienced POL as participants. I am deeply impressed by this dynamic and inspiring team!
We are then split up into three subgroups, each with a personal facilitator and leader. For the next seven days, we’ll be working together in the Buddha Hall. Next, we’re told why we have to hand in our phones, laptops and other such devices and also that outside the Buddha Hall we are to conduct ourselves in silence. We are given to understand that this policy will ensure that our inner contact is as profound as possible. I very soon discover how valuable the silence is for me.
My group consists of eight participants aged 30-66 from all over the world, each person with different experience, background, lifestyle, culture, religion… all of which makes the group especially interesting.
We make our way in silence to the Buddha Hall. What I experience there exceeds all my expectations. The room is filled with even more assistants and the atmosphere is that of an all-encompassing and totally supportive love. With a lump in my throat I take my place on one of the chairs. Rupda, the strong, intuitive, loving and professional leader of my subgroup, gives us the necessary clear insight into the next part of the programme; also, that the more we invest and participate, the more we’ll get out of the process. She also reminds us of our own responsibility and that we are ourselves the creators of our lives.“Wow, what a woman!” I immediately feel how much I trust her and am aware that I am more than willing to expose my sabotage mechanisms. When invited to do so, I jump up and notice how the small, sensitive little girl in me so hesitantly makes her way to the front… of the class. She tells the group how lonely she is and how afraid she is of the vengeful, omniscient God… and how her father quashed all her questions, demanding that she put her trust in the bible, Jesus and God. From that moment, asking questions was no longer safe and she experiences how she slowly but surely began to doubt herself and to make herself invisible to the extent that she starts dissociating from her body. Tears of respect and gratitude flow: the clairvoyant, highly empathic little girl at last lets herself be seen and heard. Such courage, so healing!
Shadow side: feedback
It is both uncomfortable and highly rewarding to receive feedback from the group. Light is thrown upon the darker side of my behaviour and I recognise themes such as mothering, saving, exercising control and wanting to be liked. I become aware that it will be an invaluable experiment this week just to take care of myself and offer no advice or suggestions. I also want to become more aware and be able to take action as soon as I notice one or more of these patterns beginning to operate. Take the time to feel I want ‘to be liked’. I very soon discover how often I tend to occupy myself in other people’s affairs instead of concentrating on my own business!
The bubble just keeps bursting
My ‘little me’ feels totally disoriented, it can no longer think and no longer exercise any control over the situation. All that remains is this present moment. The Ego has less and less to hold onto, there is no structure, it can no longer take any steps to be prepared and to ‘understand’ what is going on. It feels like deep-sea diving – without oxygen! During the next process I dive even deeper inside. It takes more and more effort to come back into my body. I can’t stand up. My body is lifted by the ‘angel assistants’ who lovingly carry me to my room and care for my injured foot.
Rage and shame
For a long time I had thought that I had no anger left in me. I was always so understanding and always ready and willing to support others with loving care and attention.
Today I share with my group that, as a child, I used to feel angry and then hid it as fast as possible so as to avoid being judged and excluded. After that I would feel ashamed of my anger and deeply miss attention, loving touching, appreciation, cuddles, love and affection.
“I’m nine years old and Daddy asks me why I’m crying. I don’t know why, but I do know that I feel unsafe. My voice fails me and I can’t talk. Dad gets angry and in a hard, unloving voice sends me off to bed. He asks again why I’m crying and because I can’t give him an answer, he hits me and says: ‘There you are, now you’ve got a reason for crying.’”
My group feels very safe and involved and I am grateful for this loving support.
Limiting beliefs: “I’m not good enough, there’s something wrong with me”
Every day, every moment I dive further into the depths of all the emotions I’ve hidden away along with my limiting beliefs, vulnerability and judgments about myself and others.
An image surfaces from the distant past: a young girl who’s totally confused and has no idea what she’s doing wrong. She is told that she’s ‘oversensitive’ and that she’s imagining things that are not there. She should behave herself like her sisters. At school she has to sit at the back of the class when she doesn’t understand the assignment and asks for explanation. She freezes and is afraid to ask any more questions. The fear of being thought stupid pursues her for a large part of her life, while at the same time she continues to wonder if there really is something wrong with her; after all, why all this shame and lack of gratitude?
For as long as I can remember, it’s been my deepest longing to live as an authentic being, to grow and flower in unconditional love, joy and connection, with respect for others and myself. Part of that longing involves living my potential to the utmost and empowering others to become the best person they can be.
I feel a deep pain, the pain of having wandered around aimlessly in the swamp of unconscious life, not knowing what was limiting me in my desire to live and escape out of the swamp.
Deep healing: “I am MORE than enough!”
I feel fully charged as we go into the Hall. My body is immediately entranced by the music that has been so carefully selected for this new process. Emotions arise and I observe with wonder the energy that becomes available. All of a sudden, memories arise of the birth of my oldest son and how he is taken away from me so quickly; I feel confused and afraid to lose him. It’s all so painful!
Suddenly I see Osho beckoning me, while his beard rolls out towards me like a ladder. There are no thoughts, there is no time, nothing but total surrender, peace and bliss. And from far, far away I hear my name being called in a loving tone. Slowly I become aware that a leader and facilitator are both next to me
. The leader asks: “Indra, how’re you doing?” I hear a deep laugh arise, followed by the words: “I’m more than good enough.” We all laugh.
Celebration in total freedom
The music plays and my body moves of its own accord. In the distance I hear familiar words. My mind cannot grasp what is going on; it’s all so dreamlike. I listen and cry because I recognise the words which I had received earlier and written down:
Received from the source – May 2018: Ma Deva Indra – group 2
It’s time to show up, fully.
Remember it’s your birthright, to:
… spread your wings and fly, fly high
… flower, blossom
… release your fragrance
… sing your own unique song
… dance your beautiful dance
… write your book and develop your training
… embrace, joy, love fully
… surrender in gratitude and trust
… YES, beloved, your time is here and now!
My tears of gratitude and love flow… I’m ALIVE!
Time for integration
POL has shone a powerful new light on my connection with Universal Love, for myself and other beings.
Before I began my adventure with POL I had various options for volunteer work. I bought a one-way ticket. Now, as I write, I feel a profound need to rest my body so as to integrate the intense experiences I’ve undergone. I gave my all during this seven-day retreat and now it feels as if my heart is too small for my physical body and seems to be bursting at the seams. There is no mind; I feel drunk without a drop of alcohol. From a deep inner calmness, I embrace everything with ease, without any effort or twinge of fear. Acting on trust, I book a flight back to Holland. Then I send a message to my beloved Kaiyum asking if he has a place in his heart and home for me.
The next day, he’s on the platform at the train station waiting for me. The warmth in his voice and the love-lights in his eyes tell me how welcome I am. There’s even a big bunch of red roses in a vase at home (and he really doesn’t ‘do’ flowers in his house…).
The inner journey continues and oh, how profoundly thankful I am! I am able to live my life as a witness and experience my thoughts, feelings and emotions without getting caught up and lost in them. I look back and am filled with gratitude for the clarity I now enjoy; I know that a large part of my inner mirror has now been well polished!
New shadows will undoubtedly present themselves, but until then I relish living in the bright light of unconditional love. My heart bubbles excitedly to remind me: “Indra, you ARE good enough, MORE than good enough – you are LOVE itself!”
As Osho says, the path of love is a quest for the Divine in ourselves. It makes us aware of the Love that is our true state of being.
POL is significant
Seven master keys offer the opportunity to ignore personal limitations and discover our essential essence. The ground-breaking processes of the retreat can be compared with water that can only boil when the right temperature has been reached. Everything about POL is right. I’ve followed so many training courses and workshops, but however useful and valuable they were then, they can’t hold a candle to the power and high quality of POL. All the processes are focussed on transformation, unconditional love, support, caring, heart-connection, excitement, inspiration, motivation, unpredictability, depth, bliss and effectiveness.
I bow in sincere respect to all the leaders, facilitators and assistants – they are simply wonderful!
Accommodation – Il Campus
This POL retreat took place in Verona (Italy) at Il Campus. I really enjoyed the delicious vegetarian food, the love and care with which the rooms are furnished and maintained, the dining-room, the Buddha Hall and above all the loving, helpful and capable staff members who supported all aspects of the retreat. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!
POL is a community of people just like you and me. Everyone who has taken part in a POL retreat can keep in touch with a worldwide network of people with shared values. Thousands of individuals from approximately 115 countries and all levels of society form this supportive network, that helps maintain and integrate the life-changing experience that POL offers.
Peace within, peace without
Imagine a world full of people who have experienced the unconditional love of the Path of Love! They have seen that war can only exist as long as there is war in them. What would the world look like then?
This POL has dissolved everything that stood between me and my Essence. If I were to die today, then I would die content. I have truly lived and loved. There is nothing I’ve left undone, I feel grateful and fulfilled. Above all, I am grateful to Osho, who time and again has led me deeper into myself in order, ultimately, to wake up.
The profound desire to awaken totally and to help others awaken in turn is the motivating force that drives me to contribute by assisting at future POL retreats.
From the deepest depths of my being, I wish you a priceless, joyous and loving life! Who knows, maybe we’ll meet at one of the POL events!
“Love is the secret key; it opens the door of the divine.”
Today, as I write, I ‘know’ with absolute certainty that I am ready to work further on developing, promoting and facilitating a training and writing a book around Atisha’s Seven Points of Mind Training (The Book of Wisdom). My withhold about being ‘not good enough’ has vanished.
It’s time to reclaim my birthright and contribute my gifts to life!
More information, testimonials and videos: www.pathretreats.com
Dutch-born Deva Indra took sannyas in 2015, although she says, Osho came into her life around 1985. She lives her life like Mojud and is constantly aware of her connection with Osho and the Divine. In the last twenty-odd years she has worked internationally as a trainer, facilitator and coach, integrating a remarkable range of techniques, concepts and approaches. She enjoys hearing from friends